3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) is climbing further today, up another 53 points to 5,857 as I write. That's only 132 points short of its 52-week high of 5,989, and we might even be into a sustainable run that will take the index above that high, especially as new reports show U.K. inflation falling.

On top of that, a number of companies saw their shares rising nicely today on the back of good news. Here are three from the various FTSE indexes that are on the up and look set to beat the wider market.

N Brown (ISE: BWNG.L)
Multichannel retailer N Brown Group shot up 11% to 299 pence today after it released results that showed revenue up 4.3% to 379 million pounds for the six months to Sept. 1. Pre-tax profit was down by 4.5% to 42 million pounds, but two key measures were very encouraging: E-commerce sales were up 12%, and sales for the six weeks to Oct. 13 rose by 10%.

The firm lifted its interim dividend by 3% to 5.45 pence per share, and there's a full-year yield of more than 5% forecast, rising to 5.4% for the year to February 2014.

Smiths News (ISE: NWS.L)
Preliminary results from Smiths News gave the shares a nice 5.3% boost to 140 pence, with underlying pre-tax profits soaring by a forecast-busting 23% to 39 million pounds and underlying earnings per share rocketing 28% to 15.5 pence. Even statutory EPS rose by more than 25%.

That enabled the firm to lift its full-year dividend by 7.5% to 8 pence per share, in line with the recent City consensus -- and supporting a hefty yield of 6%, even after today's share-price rise. Add to that the 60% rise the shares have enjoyed over the past 12 months, and shareholders should be very pleased today.

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Petropavlovsk (ISE: POG.L)
Petropavlovsk was boosted by a third-quarter production report today, which pushed the shares up 3.2% to 441 pence, bringing some cheer after falling sentiment hit precious-metals producers this year.

The firm produced 39% more gold than in the previous quarter and is 11% ahead over a nine-month period and on track to hit full-year targets of 700,000 ounces of gold -- and that's a lot of shiny stuff.

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Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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